Monday, December 31, 2012

Jarrod's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

This is Jarrod here, again!

Most of you probably don't know, but I'm a peanut-butter fanatic.  I sometimes eat it twice a day.  Nearly every day for breakfast on toast.  I'm a fan of the natural stuff, and when I learned how easy it was to make my very own peanut butter, I figured it was time to take my fanaticism to the next level.  While I don't do it all the time, I now frequently make my own peanut butter from scratch.  It's super fun, and I think it tastes way better.

And when thinking of making things for our friends and family for Christmas, making homemade peanut butter seemed like the perfect idea.  And I'll tell you what ... it is.  There's a little twist here though:  I added chocolate.  Think Nutella, but with peanuts.  Then put that awesomeness in a jar and cover it over with a chocolate ganache.  Spread that on some toast, and you have world peace.  Are you ready?  It's acutally really easy.  I made enough chocolate peanut butter, in several batches, to fill twelve 8oz jars in under three hours.  But you can make quite a bit in under an hour.  When doing my research for the right building blocks, I started here, and then went my own way.

The first thing you need are raw peanuts.  Sure, you can buy them in the shell.  They even sell them on Amazon.  Our local Sprouts carries them in the bulk department at the front of the store.  Really, that's the hardest part of this whole thing.

We added the ganache to the thing to put it over the top as a gift.  It's totally decadent and delicious, but not necessary.  I'll throw in the recipe for that, too.  If you don't want to use it here, it makes the best ice cream topping ever.

Here we go.

Ingredients and steps for the chocolate peanut butter:
2 cups of raw peanuts
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tblsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 tblsp canola oil (peanut oil if you can find it!)

1)  Preheat the oven to 375.

2)  Stir the peanuts and the honey together and roast in the oven until they turn golden brown, around 10 minutes, stirring at least once.  Then throw them in the food processor.

3)  Throw in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and canola oil in with the peanut butter and blend.  The canola oil will help smooth things out.  The blending in the food processor can take several minutes to complete.  After a minute or so, the peanut butter will ball up and then it will smooth out.  If things are taking to long to get to the smooth point, add a bit more oil.

4)  That's it!  You now have chocolate peanut butter!  Keep it refrigerated after making ... Alton Brown says it will last two months or so in the fridge.

Ingredients and steps for the chocolate ganache:
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup heavy cream

Mix the chips and the cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for two minutes.  Stir every 30 seconds.  Keep going until you have a smooth chocolate sauce.

To finish it off for gift-giving, we poured the peanut butter into these 8oz, wide-mouth canning jars.  They were the perfect size to get in the peanut butter and a fun amount of the ganache to top it off.  It's good on anything.  One of our friends opened the jar on the spot and dipped in chocolate chip cookies. (Leanne's Note: She didn't dip the cookie straight into the jar... I handed her a cookie and she smeared the peanut butter on the cookie. It was a fantastic idea.)

There you have it!  To modify the recipe to make plain peanut butter, take away the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and add another table spoon of honey.  It's just that easy.
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